The Mind of Bluesleepy

Going off the rails 18 March 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 8:12 pm

Goodness!! I didn’t realize y’all would want to see photos of my new thrift store coat so desperately! Sometimes I hesitate to post yet another photo for fear that y’all are getting tired of seeing them.

And so, by popular request, I give you my new coat:

Awesome thrift store find

OK, so it’s not a rusty coral color. It’s actually a reddish hue that’s been heathered. The lining is a brighter red, and seems to be high quality. I love that it has only three buttons. If there were a fourth, I would have a problem keeping the button on the jacket; the pressure from my larger thighs would probably cause the button to continually pop off. It also means it’s quick to get on and off. And I’m all for quick.

Well, technically there is a fourth button under the collar, so I can button the top completely closed to keep out the wind. But it’s a button that isn’t used very often, in my experience.

Can you believe that coat cost me only $14? There is seriously nothing wrong with it, and it doesn’t even smell funny, aside from the residual funky thrift-store odor that everything that comes from a thrift store smells like. There was also an unused tissue and an empty Halls wrapper in one of the pockets. Bonus!

The lady who complimented me on the coat in the thrift store was also looking at coats. She found a nice navy blue wool coat, much longer than this one, but the lining was shredded at the yoke in the back. The coat was already marked to $6.99, but she talked the manager down to $4.99 because of the shredded lining. I was lucky to find a coat in such awesome condition. I do have to reinforce the second button from the bottom; it feels somewhat loose, and I don’t want to lose it.

I suppose I should check the brand. The tags make it look like it’s a pretty old coat, maybe back to the 70s. OK, I have just checked, and it is a Mackintosh New England. The label is sewn into the inside of the front right of the coat, instead of at the collar. It also features an International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union label. Unfortunately, the label with “Made in” has worn to illegibility right where it designates the country of origin.

From what I can find on ye olde Internets, Mackintosh New England seemed to be a good brand. I can find some pea coats on sale for $80, but originally priced at $160. Coats for sale on eBay that are New With Tags were originally priced between $160 and $225. I also found that the ILGWU had Mackintosh New England listed in the 1940s. However, I am thinking that Mackintosh New England isn’t really a viable company any longer. I can only find a couple of websites that still sell the brand, and I can’t find anything historical on them. Even my trusty Wikipedia has failed me.

It’s so frustrating to have such a wealth of information available to me but to be unable to find anything relevant. Who’da thunk?!

In other news…

The Purple Chai recommended we start reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder to Gracie. For those of you who never read the books (shame on you!), Little House in the Big Woods is the first book in the series that gave rise to the popular tv show “Little House on the Prairie.” In Little House, Laura is about four or five years old, and the family still lives in the Big Woods of Wisconsin near their family. Pa had to beat back the woods each year in order to grow some food for the family, and during the winter, he would brave the snow to hunt for meat. Eventually Pa’s restless spirit moved them westward towards the prairie, traveling through Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa. But this first book deals mainly with their life in Wisconsin, when the extended family could get together for holidays and during the sugaring season. Once the Ingalls left the Big Woods, they were pretty much on their own.

I love the idea of reading these books to Grace. They were my absolute favorite things to read as a kid. I have the entire boxed set, including The First Four Years, featuring those wonderful illustrations by Garth Williams, who also drew for Charlotte’s Web. Because they were such beloved books, my copy of Little House in the Big Woods is literally falling apart. Right at page 88 and 89, the entire book has split in half.

(This is the collection I have that is now falling apart.)

I think Grace is going to need her own boxed set. I just peeked onto Amazon.com, and unfortunately the only complete set (all nine books) has been published without the Garth Williams illustrations. In fact, there are no illustrations at all. I can get the first five books in a boxed set illustrated by Garth Williams, but not the complete set.

I feel gypped.

Off to search the internet!!!

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9 Responses to “Going off the rails”

  1. Andrea Says:

    I love your new coats!

    I agree on reading the Little House books to Grace- I read them when I was in kindergarten (I was an early reader). My mom read to me all of the time and that’s what started me reading so young.

  2. Blue Opal Says:

    Very pretty coat – and VERY you. πŸ˜‰ I like reds. but outerwear for me (which, granted, isn’t so much needed in this part of the world) is mostly in darks and neutrals. Though I do have this one lipstick-red sweater…

  3. Rosietoes Says:

    My girls read the series, and in 1998, we followed (in reverse) most of the path of the Ingalls family, from DeSmet back to Pepin. Also, check out the Betsy-Tacy-Tib series. Written by Maud Hart Lovelace, it is set from about the turn of the century to WWI. Maud lived in a town called Mankato, MN, and her stoies are from when she was a little girl all the way until she married after the war. We also were able to find her home and Tib’s home in Mankato! I hope you can locate them, and that you enjoy them.

  4. purple chai Says:

    Either the copyright expired on the Garth Williams or someone thought they wouldn’t appeal to today’s kids. To me, they were as much of the books as the writing. (And I didn’t read any of them until I was about 20.)

  5. michele Says:

    not only do i like your coat, but i really like the length of your hair. it seems to frame your face well.

  6. terri t. Says:

    Loved the coat. I bet it was a very expensive coat in its day and obviously was taken care of by someone. Hope you enjoy wearing it. I remember when that ILGWU label used to be in coats. Bet it was made in the USA.

    Ahh, a woman on a mission to seek out and find….

    Good luck with finding the book series you want. If nothing else, you can replace the one that is falling apart and Gracie can read the rest of the illustrated set. I always loved the illustrations in my books as a child. It added so much to the story for me.

  7. Margie Says:

    Luuuvv your new coat. I love thrift store bargains. In fact, I found a new one today at lunch. Well, actually, I’ve been there before but I learned it’s purpose today. They accept donations like Salvation Army/Goodwill do and of course resell them. And they are non-profit also. But their proceeds go to help buy medications for locals who can not afford to pay for them. Isn’t that awesome? It made me feel really good that my money, spent for something I wanted, goes to help maybe an elderly person or even a child to get help. And since it’s not a BIG non-profit, overhead is probably not too much so most of my shopping money is going directly to help someone. πŸ™‚

  8. michele Says:

    Sis, I think you took my last post personally. If you did, it wasn’t a personal comment to you. I understand that it can be challenging to have several kids and keep an eye on their messes, etc. However, when the lights come up, the parents can definitely grab a popcorn tub and soda cups and take them to the trash. I still feel like it’s rude and lazy by leaving these items behind.

  9. sleepyjane Says:

    LOVE the coat! πŸ™‚


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